Lore Reasons' Season Finale Is Here With Your Letters, Questions, And More


#1

At the start of this weird project, we asked a simple question: Why do you love Kingdom Hearts? Hundreds of you wrote in with answers that ranged from the humorous (it’s fun to watch Mickey run around with a key sword) to the serious (it was part of understanding their own identity). As we close out this season of Lore Reasons, we wanted to revisit those letters, answer a bunch of questions you sent in, and contemplate the future of Lore Reasons. No, we haven’t announced our next target of confusion, but maybe you can help?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/xwbe5a/lore-reasons-season-finale-is-here-with-your-letters-questions-and-more

#2

Dragon Age Lore Reasons you cowards!


#3

nobody tell patrick about axel’s pizza chakrams


#4

As someone who knew pretty much nothing about Kingdom Hearts, I had a blast listening to Lore Reasons and it became some of my favourite podcasts to relisten to or use as background while doing other stuff. Thanks, I can’t wait for the next season!

My long shot recommendation would be the original Pathologic! It’s a Russian cult classic that I’m guessing most people haven’t played and it would work as a nice tie-in with Pathologic 2, the reimagining of the original game that is coming next month.

This is yet another game with three protagonists, and while they all have different storylines that come from the same premise, each character also exists and interferes in the others’ stories in varying degrees and reach different conclusions in the end. This is a nice way to unfold the contradicting realities, POVs and the lore itself and what it all means to each character; to be reductive, one character focuses more on the politics of the Town, the other dives deeper into the lore and traditions of the people and the third reveals hidden truths about some of the characters you meet in the other storylines while also kiiinda acting as a metalinguistic force in all of the stories.

So, this is a game about meat and theatre, weird shit, even more weird shit, buildings that store souls (?), frustration (that mainly come from the self-acknowledged lack of experience of the devs at the time — made apparent especially in the game’s brutal and very unbalanced survival mechanics), jankiness and ugly but evocative designs, lots and lots of reading and cool characters. It’s very far from perfect, but I really love this game and wish more people could experience it!


#5

As far as suggestions for future Lore Reasons, I’d love to see the crew tackle Mortal Kombat, Tekken, or Elite: Dangerous. Although fighting games aren’t really known for their stories, I’ve always been intrigued by the whispers I’ve heard of Mortal Kombat’s timeline.

Edit: If you want to extend Lore Reasons into film/tv, then X-Files would be great.


#6

Still in the middle of listening, but one thing that always strikes me a little weird about discussions about the future of the series seem to keep talking about a KH future with less Disney in it. Disney owns KH, not Square, I’m actually a little pessimistic that as it goes on it won’t just be more play through the movie levels.


#7

Really the only franchise with lore as tangled and wonderful as Kingdom Hearts is Metal Gear. We all know Liquid Ocelot is Liquid Snake’s Nobody.


#8

At one point Homestuck was pitched, and I would totally be on board for that. It sure is a thing that nobody understands and by the time you get through Act 4 (of 7) you’re only about a quarter of the way through the thing. Also: Hiveswap Ch. 1 and Hiveswap Friendsim are things.

Speaking of inscrutable series popular with cosplayers, the Touhou series lore is wild and goes some very strange places - at one point you go to literal Hell where a crow has eaten a dead sun-god and gained the power of nuclear fusion. And that’s not counting the huge amount of fanon and side-material that surrounds every single character in the series, most notably Cirno, who somehow got her own game and graduated to playable character status in a mainline title ten full games after her debut as a lowly Stage 2 boss.

If we want a more traditional Western pick, I could go for one of the long-running long-dead WRPG series: I’m thinking specifically of Ultima, Wizardry, or Might and Magic, all of which have a reputation as fantasy series but in all three of them you eventually end up in a spaceship for some reason. Ultima is probably the ‘correct’ pick, just on the reputation of Ultima IV alone, but I have an intense soft spot for the many MANY spinoffs of Might and Magic.


#9

I’m gonna be stubborn and continue to recommend Elder Scrolls. Most in-game books are written by unreliable narrators years after whatever it is they’re writing about, or they’re claiming to be some important figure but its not clear that they are, or you get a sense that they’re just boosting their patrons or propagandizing for their state or cause. There’s relatively little that is just dictated to you.

In addition to that the metaphysics are complex and heavily open to interpretation, since they’re part of the history and change with that history.

I think Vivec is an extremely well-developed character, but not in the traditional sense. You have first hand sources from them, and some dialogue, but most of hir development exists in the society that worships them and hir relationship to it. It would be neat to try and tackle all of TES history from the perspective of Vivec in particular, but that’s not really something you could do without knowing the history beforehand.

Really the issue with TES would be one of structure. The games are non-linear, the only real way to figure out what to read and play would be to ask people who know or go read UESP wiki stuff and work backwards from the sources they site with your own theories. Starting with the various conflicting creation myths and working from there might be doable.

Anyway, here’s What My Beloved Taught Me:

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/what-my-beloved-taught-me


#10

For the MGS season they have to rename Lore Reason to “Nanomachines, Son”.


#11

Thanks so much for committing to this wild ride of a series- as a huge KH fan, it’s been super refreshing to hear people engage with this series earnestly instead of just dunking on it and the whole thing has been an absolute blast to listen to!

Going forward, I think MGS and Nier are the most obvious candidates, but I can see how those would kinda feel like more of the same. From what I’ve heard, Dark Souls has a good bit of lore too, but I haven’t played any of them myself so I can’t say how much depth is there.


#12

As someone who dearly loves the drakennier franchise and has basically the entire canon memorised it would make for a bad lore reasons, the reason being literally everything is considered canon. including every side branch, novella, manga, all contradicting stories and events, all endings, stage plays, concert mini-plays, weapon stories etc etc etc. The whole point of drakennier is that the lore literally doesnt matter - d3 makes a whole point of this in the game itself with its metaplot. the real message of the games are in playing the games themselves and seeing the context of information, not the information itself (also a major theme), to the point that treating lore as an encyclopedic database of Things That Happened is entirely missing the point.

Anyway MGS is the sure fire candidate considering theres bullshit like “ocelot cures his haunted arm possession and then hypnotises himself to think hes still possessed in order to trick the patriots”


#13

I’d be interested in hearing the lore reasons for homestuck, precisely because it’s just too much for me to actually get through, but for the same reason it’s probably an overly onerous demand on the waypoint crew’s time.

Problem Sleuth which I did manage to get through and liked (though I’ll be darned if I can remember much of it now) is much more manageable in length.


#14

I have written this ahead of time and placed it in a notepad file on my desktop so I may post it the moment I see the Lore Reasons suggestion thingie go up.

I endorse three options for Lore Reasons:

1. Final Fantasy 8
This is at this point the lost Final Fantasy given everything else is getting updates and rereleases except this one. I played it when I was ten with my mother, and I remember just… bonkers details. Remember when you had to climb the air to get through an invisible door to an invisible kingdom? Or that time you had to orchestrate a musical concert at a fishing outpost? How about going to space to save your girlfriend who was possessed by a sorceress? Please, explain FF8 to me, I want that candle in the dark.

2. Metal Gear
Guys, MGS is incredible, it’s deep, it’s shallow as fuck when someone with a nice ass is around, it’s deeeeply homoerotic, it’s got A plots, B plots, friggin G plots, then the metaphorical plot. And to me, it’s the story of one woman who saw the world as it should be, and how the men set to inherit her vision fucked it up and how we made it through the other side. It’s silly and inspiring and personally very influential on my life.

3. Homestuck
I am going to explain this straight with no jokes. I got into Homestuck the day it ended because I watched the final video update and went “wow that’s gorgeous and the music is good, I think I’m ready to try this.” And in my opinion, now, today, with the story essentially finished is the best time to tackle Homestuck. As an archival straight-through read, it’s incredible, and I cannot name another piece of media like it.

It is a Homeric creation myth for the internet age. It’s extremely queer. It’s some of the greatest character writing I have seen in any media ever. It takes its initially simplistic style and evolves it into some staggeringly beautiful animations. It has an entire music team to furnish it with that music. (Everyone already knows this, but Toby Fox ran the music team and gave Homestuck some of its best compositions.)

And here is why I think it would be interesting: There is a lot of hay made about how Homestuck is impenetrable and confusing. I am here to tell you no it isn’t. What made Homestuck difficult to understand was the serial updating that most of the audience experienced the story with. When you have weeks or months between updates, it does become hard to remember the langauge of Homestuck and thus lose your way. But as an archival read, there is no artifical pause button being smashed.

And what Homestuck does is, step by step, teach you a language of symbolism with which you can understand its world. And it does so naturally, with care and precision, it makes sure that by the time you reach the Major Shocking Events of the story, you have been given a new toolset that allows you to experience something remarkable.

There is nothing like it, and now that it is pretty much concluded, it is the best time to experience it. That is my pitch.

(Also, there is a chrome extension to remove the irritating “quirks” that some characters use. Also also the majority of the comic has been voice acted in “Lets Read Homestuck” which helped me at times. Also also also yes the first few acts with the r-slur, but there was clearly a point where the writer realized he needed to stop doing that, and it vanishes from the rest of the comic.)

And for the record, I think MGS is the best choice for Lore Reasons Season Two. But I wanted to give the Full Pitch for why Homestuck is interesting. Also, it’s 2019 and thinking Homestuck Is Good Actually is en vogue again, thank god.

ETA: OH ANOTHER REASON WHY MGS IS THE BEST CHOICE RIGHT NOW: You can absolutely experience MGS through cutscene videos and lets plays with a few situational exceptions.


#15

I’m so glad they brought up the Sleeping Realm theory. As a die-hard KH fan, I find it super interesting, but I also hear Austin’s point that it doesn’t really add anything at all, and doesn’t really bring up WHY it could be interesting.


#16

I never remember to come to the forum, or Discourse, or whatever, so while late, here is my hot take.

I love Kingdom Hearts, but there is something that people have been (mostly) ignoring. Time. Literal, physical time.

On one end, part of the reason so many of us grew up with this ridiculous series is because this series has been going on for an incredible amount of time. Similar to the soon-ending Supernatural, a reason why we love this series as much as we do is because many of the biggest parts of our lives happened in close proximity to a Kingdom Hearts game.

On the other end, time is something few series have been able to use to their advantage. A good example of this is Supernatural: after 15 seasons, they’ve had characters literally grow up. There was an episode a long while ago where the Winchester’s killed a demon in front of it’s child. A decade later, that child was old enough to act, and she came back into the series looking for revenge. Similarly, we spent a decade and a half knowing that Kairi, Sora, and Riku were BFF.

Also, the name for a keylade I got was… Kingdom Key. So I don’t even know.


#17

I think Homestuck would be an extremely fun Lore Reasons series. It’s convoluted and up its own ass, but it’s also very sweet and heartfelt and just fun to get lost in the bullshit of it all.


#18

Kotor 1 and 2 then get into the lore of The old republic and go deeper on thoughts of the star wars mythos as a whole both new canon and old

I am glad they discussed the sleeping Realm Theorie even if it not complete It contextualized things for me about Kh3 that until shown otherwise i will believe are true I am still trying to figure out who everyone on the beach is looking at during the ending
Here some screenshots from the final


#19

World of Darkness :vampire:


#20

Thank you Waypoint team for this series - it was a really delightful time and I loved learning about KH lore with you!

Strongly agree with those recommending Homestuck for an upcoming season. I think time has worn down a lot of the inscrutability, it’s unique, it’s character-focused, it’s very much a series where it would be valuable to consider the good with the bad, and I think it would be really neat to look at its legacy and impact on pop culture (imo Undertale wouldn’t exist as we know it without Homestuck, and you can probably make that case for other media as well). But whatever you end up doing, I’m so excited to listen to it!